Special Issue "Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
PD. Dr Benjamin Burkhard

Institute for Natural Resource Conservation, Department of Ecosystem Management, Christian-Albrechts-University Kiel, Olshausenstr. 40, 24098 Kiel, Germany and Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, ZALF, Eberswalder St. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Fax: +49-431-880-4083
Interests: Human-environmental system interactions, quantification and mapping of ecosystem services, land use systems, landscape ecology
Guest Editor
Dr. Stefan Hotes

Department of Ecology, Philipps-University Marburg, Karl-v.-Frisch-Str. 8, 35043 Marburg, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49-6421-282-3388
Fax: +49 6421-282-3387
Interests: Ecosystem functions and ecosystem services in cultural landscapes, sustainable land management, ecology of wetlands, palaeoecology, science policy interfaces
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hubert Wiggering

Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research, ZALF, Eberswalder St. 84, 15374 Müncheberg, Germany
Institute for Earth and Environmental Science, University of Potsdam, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 24/25, D-14476 Potsdam, Germany
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49-334-328-2200
Fax: +49-334-328-2223
Interests: Systemic research approaches, landscape development, future land use systems, environmental geology/geoecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Globalization and external driving forces increasingly influence today’s agriculture. Nevertheless, at the same time, specialized markets develop for high quality products or regional brands. Only a few years ago, the main (and in some cases the only) interest of agricultural producers was to enhance production efficiency at the sites, often resulting in relatively mono-structured landscapes, soil erosion, nutrient losses, ground-water pollution, and decreases in biodiversity and landscape aesthetics. Step by step, much more attention has been paid to the natural capital and non-productivity issues of landscapes and ecosystems. Coincidentally, demands for, e.g., regenerative energies and thus biomass production, call for intensive land use systems. Therefore, changes in the established agricultural markets, as well as climate change, globalization, and demographic developments will influence demands for agricultural goods and services. One essential question within this context is, how society will adapt to these challenges in connection with securing a climate-friendly energy supply, safeguarding food supply, and responsibly managing scarce water resources, biodiversity, and soil. Other issues include the potential use of genetic engineering in agriculture and forestry and the safekeeping of services of general interest in rural areas. Minimizing conflicts between these processes is crucial.

The points mentioned above show that established agricultural production is no longer the economic activity supporting rural economies. The crucial question is which additional opportunities for the use of land come up, so as to contribute to renewed economic activities within rural regions. Regions offering a wider range of goods and services may gain advantages in competition. This leads to the discussion of ecosystem services from an agricultural/rural area perspective. Therefore, we intend to reinforce research and discussion about agro(eco)system services.

Agro(eco)system services are (related to ecosystem services) the multiple goods and services provided to humanity by nature in combination with (often substantial) additional anthropogenic inputs (such as fertilizer, pesticides, energy, labor, machinery, knowledge) in agricultural systems. Agricultural systems/landscapes are in this context multifunctional; they supply scenery, biodiversity, and production, regulatory, socio-economic, and cultural services. Are such landscapes therewith today per se a result of particular demands for agro(eco)system services, as they have always been modified by human interventions into natural processes? Applying the agro(eco)system service concept can help to show the effects of human interventions by qualitatively and quantitatively analyzing trade-offs between different services and by supporting the development of site-specific, more sustainable land use strategies.

In the proposed Special Issue of the journal LAND, we intend to analyze existing agricultural systems in different socio-ecological settings, based on system-oriented modeling and simulation, experimental work, and analyses of agriculture and land use systems in related studies. Based on that, concepts for improved agricultural systems that aim to integrate the supply of/demand for multiple agro(eco)system services so as to maintain long-term functioning will be elaborated. The contributions will, amongst others, be drawn from the International Workshop “Agrosystem Services 2014”, which was held at the Leibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF) in Müncheberg, Germany and the LEGATO (Land-use Intensity and Ecological Engineering – Assessment Tools for Risks and Opportunities in Irrigated Rice Based Production Systems) project, as well as from other projects.

The Special Issue will be organized in three sections:

I.            Sustainable agriculture – The balance in agro(eco)system services
II.           Supply of agro(eco)system services: Case studies
III.          Demand for agro(eco)system services with a specific focus on future production  schemes

The scope of contributions to the Special Issue includes Agro(eco)system Service potential analyses (referring to food supply and security, biomass as a substitute for fossil resources, demographic dynamics), new applications for agricultural biomass (food, non-food use), experimental work on existing agricultural systems, modeling of the ecosystem functions and services of cultivation management systems, the maintenance of ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, landscape-level decision making, and alternative agricultural management strategies (e.g., organic farming, ecological engineering, bi-cropping) as well as recent policy requirements (e.g., EU Common Agricultural Policy, EU Nature 2000 or the new EU Biodiversity strategy). All articles submitted will be of high scientific quality and will go through the peer-review process of LAND. They will be oriented toward the journal’s aims and scope.

Article Publication Fees of invited and/or quality submissions can be waived.

Dr. Benjamin Burkhard
Dr. Stefan Hotes
Prof. Dr. Hubert Wiggering
Guest Editor
s

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 350 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


Published Papers (7 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-7
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research

Open AccessEditorial Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society
Land 2016, 5(2), 9; doi:10.3390/land5020009
Received: 13 April 2016 / Revised: 13 April 2016 / Accepted: 13 April 2016 / Published: 20 April 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (149 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Land use—with a special focus on agriculture—is increasingly influenced by globalization and external driving forces, causing farmers to seek opportunities to develop efficient, large-scale production systems.[...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

Open AccessArticle Assessing and Governing Ecosystem Services Trade-Offs in Agrarian Landscapes: The Case of Biogas
Land 2016, 5(1), 1; doi:10.3390/land5010001
Received: 8 July 2015 / Revised: 11 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 22 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2830 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper develops a method to explore how alternative scenarios of the expansion of maize production for biogas generation affect biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES). Our approach consists of four steps: (i) defining scenario targets and implementation of assumptions; (ii) simulating crop distributions
[...] Read more.
This paper develops a method to explore how alternative scenarios of the expansion of maize production for biogas generation affect biodiversity and ecosystem services (ES). Our approach consists of four steps: (i) defining scenario targets and implementation of assumptions; (ii) simulating crop distributions across the landscape; (iii) assessing the ES impacts; and (iv) quantifying the impacts for a comparative trade-off analysis. The case study is the region of Hannover, Germany. One scenario assumes an increase of maize production in a little regulated governance system; two others reflect an increase of biogas production with either strict or flexible environmental regulation. We consider biodiversity and three ES: biogas generation, food production and the visual landscape. Our results show that the expansion of maize production results in predominantly negative impacts for other ES. However, positive effects can also be identified, i.e., when the introduction of maize leads to higher local crop diversity and, thus, a more attractive visual landscape. The scenario of little regulation portrays more negative impacts than the other scenarios. Targeted spatial planning, implementation and appropriate governance for steering maize production into less sensitive areas is crucial for minimizing trade-offs and exploiting synergies between bioenergy and other ES. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)
Open AccessArticle Using an Agroecosystem Services Approach to Assess Tillage Methods: A Case Study in the Shikma Region
Land 2015, 4(4), 938-956; doi:10.3390/land4040938
Received: 1 June 2015 / Revised: 21 September 2015 / Accepted: 21 September 2015 / Published: 2 October 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The use of ecosystem services (ES) in agricultural management is expanding; however, its integration in decision making processes is still challenging. This project was formulated to examine the ES approach and its usefulness with regard to management dilemmas. The Shikma region, north of
[...] Read more.
The use of ecosystem services (ES) in agricultural management is expanding; however, its integration in decision making processes is still challenging. This project was formulated to examine the ES approach and its usefulness with regard to management dilemmas. The Shikma region, north of the Negev Desert, was chosen as a case study. The management issue identified was the effect of various alternatives (minimum-tillage, no-tillage, straw-mulch and stubble-grazing) on the supply of ES. The expert-based ES assessments’ findings reveal that no-tillage has the potential to increase many agroecosystem services and be more profitable for the farmer and the public. However, trade-offs between different ES and among stakeholder groups make it difficult to reach an unequivocal conclusion. As we have found, the process of the study is as important as the results. Throughout the project, an effort was made to engage stakeholders and policy-makers and to define decision-making processes. The study suggests that the ES approach can be useful in expanding the scope of agricultural management beyond provisioning services and create collaborations among farmers, communities, national institutions and environmental organizations to advance conservation agriculture. The study provides guidelines for conducting a productive ES assessment process that will lead to enhanced awareness and implementation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)
Open AccessArticle Disentangling Values in the Interrelations between Cultural Ecosystem Services and Landscape Conservation—A Case Study of the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines
Land 2015, 4(3), 888-913; doi:10.3390/land4030888
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 17 August 2015 / Published: 23 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1903 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
In the past few years, there has been a growing amount of research on economic quantifications and valuations of ecosystem services (ES) in agricultural systems. However, little attention has been given to cultural ESs (CES) in general and their link to the landscape
[...] Read more.
In the past few years, there has been a growing amount of research on economic quantifications and valuations of ecosystem services (ES) in agricultural systems. However, little attention has been given to cultural ESs (CES) in general and their link to the landscape in particular. This paper tries to tackle this gap with a case study on the Ifugao Rice Terraces of the Philippines. The study aims to understand the interrelations between the different CESs and their relationships with the landscape. Besides contributing to knowledge about the degradation of the rice terraces, this study was conducted in order to discuss at a theoretical level how CESs and their relationship with the landscape must be addressed in ES management and policy decisions. The methodological approach includes a combination of semi-structured interviews (n = 60) and a perception survey (n = 66). The results reveal that CESs, apart from being interrelated, are also responsible for and affected by the degradation of the rice terraces, which is why they are important factors to consider in ecosystem conservation. This paper finally provides policy recommendations for the empirical case and demonstrates the importance of connecting CES analysis with landscape studies looking at agricultural systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)
Open AccessArticle Stakeholder Strategies for Sustainability Impact Assessment of Land Use Scenarios: Analytical Framework and Identifying Land Use Claims
Land 2015, 4(3), 778-806; doi:10.3390/land4030778
Received: 8 June 2015 / Revised: 21 August 2015 / Accepted: 7 September 2015 / Published: 14 September 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1759 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Despite scientific progress in operationalizing sustainable development (SD), it is still hampered by methodological challenges at the regional level. We developed a framework to analyse stakeholder based, SD targets for future land use, which are characterized by different impact levels and spatial references.
[...] Read more.
Despite scientific progress in operationalizing sustainable development (SD), it is still hampered by methodological challenges at the regional level. We developed a framework to analyse stakeholder based, SD targets for future land use, which are characterized by different impact levels and spatial references. The framework allows for the analysis of land use demands in the context of SD. We identified societal use targets in north-eastern Germany, particularly for the area type’s lowland fens and irrigation fields, represented through strategy documents. We used frame analysis to aggregate and condense the targets into land use claims. Results present a framework for the ex-ante Sustainability Impact Assessment of land use changes at the regional level and the determination and regionalization of the future societal demand for land use functions. For future land use at the regional level, manifold land use claims exist, but on smaller scales, area-specific targets are less apparent. Six key main-use claims and 44 side-use claims were identified at the regional level and for area types. Possible trade-offs among land use claims for land use functions can be identified at each governance level. Implications of the methodological approach are discussed according to moving development targets and SD as multi-sector and multi-level governance issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Ecological Recycling Agriculture to Enhance Agro-Ecosystem Services in the Baltic Sea Region: Guidelines for Implementation
Land 2015, 4(3), 737-753; doi:10.3390/land4030737
Received: 29 April 2015 / Revised: 5 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 August 2015 / Published: 20 August 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (761 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Eutrophication caused by agriculture is an increasing ecological threat to the Baltic Sea. Modern, resource-efficient farming systems based on integrated plant and animal production, effective nutrient recycling and low external inputs can enhance multiple agro-ecosystem services, resulting in reduced pollution. Practical examples of
[...] Read more.
Eutrophication caused by agriculture is an increasing ecological threat to the Baltic Sea. Modern, resource-efficient farming systems based on integrated plant and animal production, effective nutrient recycling and low external inputs can enhance multiple agro-ecosystem services, resulting in reduced pollution. Practical examples of such farming systems are not widespread. Therefore, the Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society (BERAS) Implementation project aimed to foster this systemic shift. In this paper, agronomic strategies are described to improve nitrogen (N) efficiency for the conversion to ecological recycling agriculture (ERA). First, N farm gate balances of 22 farms in conversion are presented. They showed a large variation from −9 to 90 kg∙N∙ha−1∙a−1. Then, the use of guidelines and advisory tools to improve the nitrogen efficiency is described. The legume estimation trainer and nitrogen budget calculator help assess and optimize the nitrogen supply from legumes under farming conditions. The application of the crop rotation planning tool “ROTOR” guides advisors and farmers to identify agronomically and environmentally sound rotations. The tools can help overcome key agronomic constraints by implementing ERA. The necessity of accompanying measures from policy and the need to change food consumption patterns are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)
Open AccessArticle Livestock and Ecosystem Services: An Exploratory Approach to Assess Agri-Environment-Climate Payments of RDP in Trentino
Land 2015, 4(3), 688-710; doi:10.3390/land4030688
Received: 27 April 2015 / Revised: 6 August 2015 / Accepted: 6 August 2015 / Published: 13 August 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The identification of an appropriate justification for Agri-Environment-Climate (AEC) payments is a crucial issue in the new Rural Development Programme (RDP). Given the environmental importance of grasslands in Trentino (Italy), the Management Authority in charge of the RDP decided to integrate an approach
[...] Read more.
The identification of an appropriate justification for Agri-Environment-Climate (AEC) payments is a crucial issue in the new Rural Development Programme (RDP). Given the environmental importance of grasslands in Trentino (Italy), the Management Authority in charge of the RDP decided to integrate an approach based on Ecosystem Services (ES) into the calculation of AEC payments. The paper presents the methodology used for this approach as well as the preliminary results. The first step entails building a probabilistic model for the ES, named Sustainable Fodder Production. Model outputs are then integrated with the accounting results based on the Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) database (2009–2012) with the aim of calculating the additional costs and income waived due to the environmental commitments deriving from the sustainable management of permanent grassland in livestock farming. Sustainability measures imply more extensive management practices that maintain meadows in a healthy state. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agro(Eco)System Services—Supply and Demand from Fields to Society)
Back to Top